Do you have Faith?
Have you ever thought about faith as a defense against satan?
Well, guess what…
The Shield of Faith
16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
David, son of Jesse, was a great warrior and king. Yet, from the beginning, as seen in his encounter with Goliath, David knew his “armor” was from YeHoVaH.
2 The LORD [YHVH] is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2 NAS
The Roman Shield
The Roman shield was a Roman soldier’s primary defensive weapon.
One type of Roman shield, the Scutum was a rectangular, semi-cylindrical shield, light enough to be held by one hand, yet large enough to cover the soldier from below the eyes to the shins.
In battle the shield was held with the arm straight, holding a grip in the middle. The grip was across a hole cut from the middle of the shield. This hole was protected by a metal boss [umbro], a hemisphere of iron with an iron plate around it. The soldier could push this boss into his enemy to knock him off balance.
Soldiers with this type of shield would stand close together, so that the shield of each would cover the exposed part of the next man. An extension of this concept led to the testudo, or tortoise, formation.
In the testudo formation, the men would align their shields to form a packed formation covered with shields on the front and top. The first row of men … would hold their shields from about the height of their shins to their eyes, so as to cover the formation’s front. The shields would be held in such a way that they presented a shield wall … The men in the back ranks would place their shields over their heads to protect the formation from above, balancing the shields on their helmets, overlapping them.
While the scutum was very effective in individual protection, when used in formation, it was formidable, although limited in range and battle environments.
How can Faith be our shield?
The first question is
What is Faith?
In Greek, faith is
pístis4102 (from peithô3982, “persuade, be persuaded”) – properly, persuasion (be persuaded, come to trust); faith.
pistis in secular antiquity referred to a guarantee (warranty). In Scripture, faith is God’s warranty, certifying that the revelation He inbirthed will come to pass (His way).
What does the Word say about Faith?
From the writer of the letter to the Hebrews:
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 NAS
- How do we get faith?
From Paul (Saul) to the church in Rome:
17So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17 NAS
First, we hear the Word, the Truth; and then we are persuaded by God to believe He is, and He is good.
1.The root of pistis4102(“faith”) is peithô3982(“to persuade, be persuaded”) which supplies the core-meaning of faith (“divine persuasion“). It is God’s warranty that guarantees the fulfillment of the revelation He births within the receptive believer
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Romans 12:3 NAS
We get Faith from God
Faith is received from the Holy Spirit; and He enables believers to live in faith.
Faith (pistis4102) is always received from God, and never generated by us.
It is the indwelling Spirit Who supernaturally empowers us to receive Faith and to live in Faith.
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight – 2 Corinthians 5:7 NAS
How can we grow in Faith?
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Luke 17:5 NAS
Faith grows through Trust in God and Obedience to God.
It is the indwelling Spirit Who supernaturally empowers us to grow in Faith.
22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:22 NAS
- Faith is a Spirit-given response to hearing the Truth, and then to accept and receive the salvation through Yeshua, by Trust.
24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 NAS
- Trust is a Spirit-empowered response to the gift of salvation (i.e., the restored relationship with God, through Christ) in Obedience.
14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14 NAS
- Obedience, reinforced by God’s faithfulness, leads to increased Trust.
- Increased Trust leads to more Obedience, thus Trust and Obedience increase Faith; and the cycle repeats.
Faith and Belief
In Greek, Believe is from the same root as Faith.
pisteúō4100 (from pístis4102, “faith,” derived from peíthō3982, “persuade, be persuaded”) – believe (affirm, have confidence … Only the context indicates whether pisteúō4100 (“believe”) is self-serving (without sacred meaning), or the believing that leads to/proceeds from God’s inbirthing of faith.
- Belief that God is Who He says He is: Trustworthy – worthy of our Trust
13 And again, “I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.” And again, “BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME.” Hebrews 2:13 NAS
- Belief that God is Who He says He is: Supreme – worthy of Obedience)
36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36 NAS
Faith is more than mere Belief – Faith is Belief in action
Consider James on the relationship between Faith and works.
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
- Works are not required for salvation. However, I agree with James that works are evidence of Faith.
15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
- Merely saying you have Faith, but not responding out of Love with Trust and Obedience, by your actions, is not true faith.
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
- True Faith involves a change of heart.
9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him- Colossians 3:9-10 NAS
- True Faith is demonstrated by transformation
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13a bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, Colossians 3:12,13 NAS
- Outward actions (works) are evidence of inward Faith.
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith  was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith  was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED  GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
- Can a person who has no evidence of transformation really have Faith?
17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 1 John 3:17,18 NAS
- If there is no transformed life, can there be eternal life?
26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
When in Doubt, Check It Out!
- When have you trusted God?
5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-unless indeed you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5 NAS
- What did it do to your faith?
8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NAS
Do you have Faith in your Salvation?
The Helmet of Salvation
More about that….
It’s ok to doubt, if you check it out!
Be a Berean!
10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:10, 11 ESV
Please join me in this journey of discovery.
- Leave a comment, or ask me a question.
- Share this blog with others, whether they are doubting, or not.
- Take what I say and CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!
© 2017 by the author